Archive for December, 2021



Review by C.J. Bunce

I’d wager even story creator Philip K. Dick would be impressed with the futurism and dark beauty of Adult Swim and Crunchyroll’s new Japanese and American half-hour animated series Blade Runner: Black Lotus Is the mysterious drifter Elle a young woman with amnesia or a new type of replicant that can fool the Voight-Kampff test?  What does it mean to be an android or cyborg with feelings and memories?  Those are the questions asked in the first five episodes of the excellent new series, now streaming on Adult Swim and the Adult Swim app.

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By the time Star Wars Eclipse is playing on your game console, it will have been a decade since the premiere of the brilliant looking game that wasn’t, Star Wars 1313, previewed here at borg.  We never learned why the realistic virtual reality-filled game wasn’t released, but since then we’ve seen Star Wars: The Old Republic, Star Wars Battlefront, and more, and just last year it was Star Wars: SquadronsBefore we see any actual game play, Lucasfilm Games has released what they’re calling a “cinematic trailer” for the next step in Star Wars gaming: Star Wars Eclipse Familiar characters include C-3PO, Yoda, Nute Gunray, and a Mon Calamari dressed in Jedi robes, but some game sequences revealed have characters that look straight out of Avatar.

The downside?  That’s tens of thousands of hours of effort for a game about the Star Wars prequel era.  You’ve got to ask: Are people really still interested in that era?  With shows like the animated The Bad Batch and the live-action Obi-Wan Kenobi, clearly Disney thinks the answer is “yes.”

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Back in 1978 there wasn’t a kid that didn’t love the Star Wars Holiday Special, a surprise holiday event that featured the stars of Star Wars on our television sets instead of the movie screen.  It’s there we got close-ups of aliens from the Tatooine cantina at Mos Eisley, we saw Boba Fett in action, and we got to meet Chewbacca’s family as they readied to celebrate Life Day.  It was Lucasfilm’s way of getting fans a Christmas special.  For this Christmas Lucasfilm is looking back to Life Day with the new Star Wars: The Life Day Cookbook: Official Holiday Recipes from a Galaxy Far, Far Away.

I’ve reviewed several franchise tie-in cookbooks and every one of them is really an excuse to have fun in the kitchen and try something new.  By my count this is the ninth Star Wars cookbook, and although I might be partial to The Wookiee Cookbook and its Boba Fett-uccini, or a Han Sandwich, every Star Wars fan will find something new and fun to try in The Life Day Cookbook It’s available just in time for our Earth holidays, and you can order it in the U.S. here and the UK here.  Check out a preview below.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

If you’ve read his book James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction (reviewed here) or watched his accompanying series, you can tell that James Cameron is first and foremost an artist.  With an artist’s eye he has created some of the biggest science fiction movies ever made, from The Terminator to Aliens to The Abyss and Avatar.  For the first time Cameron is revealing the contents of his sketchbooks and personal art archives and discussing his creative process and inspiration.  Insight Editions’ giant chronicle Tech Noir: The Art of James Cameron, arrives in bookstores next week and available for pre-order here.  Fans will find a collection of rare and never-before-published art that reveals how this award-winning director has translated his ideas to film, often employing advanced film-making technologies to realize his unique vision.  But as readers will find, it all begins with pen, pencil, and paint.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Remember the first time you watched Jurassic Park on the big screen?  Steven Spielberg created something like we’d never seen before, taking Michael Crichton’s masterpiece science fiction novel and giving it the spectacle it deserved.  A new book will take you back to that magic.  In James Mottram’s Jurassic Park: The Ultimate Visual History, available now here at Amazon, fans of the original movie and the franchise finally get a behind-the-scenes chronicle worthy of the amusement park ride adventure, just as the latest movie, Jurassic World: Dominion, is being finalized for a summer 2022 release.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

The new Netflix series Cowboy Bebop, an adaptation of the 1999-2001 anime series, is so good, so well-written, so jazz-filled, stylish, cool, and sexy that you won’t deny it’s the best streaming series yet.  It’s not only the best science fiction series in years, but also solid noir, solid space Western, peppered with martial arts action.  If you loved the space life of Firefly, the dark future Earth noir of Altered Carbon and Blade Runner, and the lived-in future realism of Alien and Outland, you’re in for some great television.  Funny dialogue, actors inhabiting their characters, cool noir vibe, the drudgery of life as a space pilot and exploits of a space bounty hunter.  It’s as good as TV gets.  It’s as good as sci-fi and space westerns get.

But what’s the best part?  The music?  The style?  The characters?  The lived-in sci-fi world?  The dog?  Or the year’s coolest borg character?

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When it arrives next fall, it will have been four long years between the monumental, ground-breaking animated hit Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse (reviewed here) and its sequel Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse So far it looks like it may be the most anticipated film of 2022.

What do we know so far?  The negative is that we know it will be divided into two parts.  We know Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are back as the writing team.  And Shameik Moore is back voicing Miles Morales and Hailee Steinfeld is back as Gwen Stacy aka Spider-Gwen.

Wait no longer–here’s the first trailer from Marvel for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse (Part One):

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The modern G.I. Joes you know well meet a member of the classic G.I. Joe Adventure Team and the original Joe–General Joe Colton–in IDW Publishing’s G.I. Joe–Snakes Eyes: Deadgame, first previewed here at borg last year in single issue form, and it’s now coming your way in a collected trade edition Tuesday.  And although it has all the story elements Snake Eyes fans will be familiar with, this story is all about Rob Liefeld’s penciled artwork and a string of artistic talent that stepped in to ink Liefeld’s action-filled pages, including the likes of Neal Adams, Philip Tan, Kevin Eastman, Ed Piskor, Jerry Ordway, and Dan Panosian.  You can look behind the scenes at the process for this pencil-ink partnership in a 48-page tie-in book, Snake Eyes: Deadgames Declassified, also available at comic shops and online here at Amazon.  Diehard comic art fans will have fun identifying the inkers, although Eastman’s inked pages are particularly hard to miss.

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Apparently they don’t make it–at least in the first season–since a second season is already approved.  It’s the most classic piece of science fiction and adventure, coming to your PBS Masterpiece:  BBC’s latest adaptation of Jules Verne’s 1873 novel Around the World in 80 Days It’s David Tennant in the lead role as Phileas Fogg acting his most frenetically Doctor Whovian and passing to his fans the code word “companion” in its first trailer for the series.  It might be the most we’ve seen Tennant in this kind of rollicking role since his last turn as the 10th Doctor.  The production looks sharp, as we’d expect from the BBC, with costumes, trains, and set pieces quite up to snuff.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

The last D&D sourcebook of the year is coming next week.  Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos is and isn’t what you think.  Yes, it’s the latest spin-off/mash-up of Magic: The Gathering following Mythic Odysseys of Theros and the Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica Yes, it’s your chance to go to college–magic college.  No, it’s not the D&D take on Hogwarts–that was a kids’ school, college is for adults.  Interesting enough, Strixhaven is also not a college for the purpose of training you to be a wizard, warlock, or mage.

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